Digital Transformation: Coop's Journey Towards Digital Agility

Caroline Balslev Petersen & Kirstine Clara Puggaard Frisch

Student thesis: Master thesis


Digital transformation is widely explored in current literature and offers a broad sense of perspective for understanding the process of organizations adopting new digital technologies in order to meet market requirements. While the phenomenon at large is widely explored, the mechanisms which drive this process have not been given much attention. More knowledge on this has the potential to help managers and organizations in general to navigate through tensions which may arise during a digital transformation. More so, understanding said mechanisms consequently offers knowledge on the drivers being responsible for achieving a successful digital transformation. 9 interviews were conducted representing a range of gender, age and hierarchical positions within Coop and recently created subsidiary Lobyco, contributing to a holistic picture of Coop’s digital transformation. This paper adopts an abductive research strategy as well as grounded theory methods which implied efforts amounts to a process of identifying, analysing and evaluating key themes in our empirical data. An in-depth analysis of our case company Coop’s digital journey determines three mechanisms which are identified as the main drivers during Coop’s current 5 year digital transformation process. This paper furthermore demonstrates the digital transformation mechanisms abilities to resolve tensions. As such, a greater understanding of how to navigate between resolving or managing tensions arising during digital transformation, is presented. This understanding is further illustrated in a conceptual framework which aims to present the relationship between tensions and digital transformation mechanisms. First, Coop’s digital journey thus far is presented and analysed in order to understand the building blocks for the organization’s digital transformation. Secondly, we find paradoxical tensions to emerge as a key theme in our empirical data, as such we analyse these and identify their underlying tensions. In addition we identify the mechanisms which Coop has utilized in their digital transformation. Thirdly, a conceptual framework is built as a result of the identified relation between driving digital transformation mechanisms and underlying tensions. Fourth and lastly, this paper presents a notion of measuring the success of digital transformation, in an attempt to make stages of the digital transformation process more tangible. The measurement is defined as digital agility and is critically discussed throughout.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages126
SupervisorsDaniel Fürstenau